San Francisco VA Health Care System
Am I a Caregiver?
Parent, spouse, daughter, son. Also known as America's Family Caregivers. A caregiver is someone who cares for an aging, ill, injured or disabled Veteran. Caregiving duties range from occasional errand-running and other supportive care to 24-hour, live-in support. You don't have to live with the Veteran to be a caregiver.
The VA and Caregivers
The San Francisco VA Health Care System recognizes that caregivers provide a valuable service for Veterans and are "partners" with the VA in providing excellent health care. Caregivers provide the support and care needed to allow Veterans to remain in their own home. Caregivers also play an important role in supporting Veterans who are hospitalized or living outside their home.
We believe that caring and supporting caregivers improve the lives of Veterans. Learn more about how the VA supports caregivers and how you can seek help.
Support Groups for Caregivers
The San Francisco VA Health Care System has several groups to support caregivers. Some of these include:
Parkinson's Disease and Caregiver Support Group: Provides education and emotional support for those caring for, and living with, Parkinson's disease. Meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 4 - 5:45 p.m., in the Teak Room (Bldg. 200, 1st Floor, Room 1A-122). Contact: Susan Heath, RN, MS, CNS, (415) 379-5530. For more information about this group for patients, caregivers and family members, includng current meeting dates, click here.
Community Living Center Support Group: Provides caregiver support for family members of CLC residents. Contact: Michelle Tapia, LCSW, (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-4238.
Voluntary Respite Program: Volunteers provide home respite for caregivers of homebound Veterans. Contact: Tony Le Roy (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-6331.
Family 2 Family Program: Co-facilitated by Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) staff and local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Contact: Maisie L. Ketron, LCSW, (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-3139.
Caregiver Program for Post-9/11 Veterans:
VA provides additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver. Eligible primary Family Caregivers can receive a stipend, training, mental health services, and access to health insurance if they are not already under a health care plan.
Assistance with the application process is available. For more information, please contact the SFVAMC Caregiver Support Coordinator Anne Johnson, LCSW, at (415) 221-4810, ext. 2-2801, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Caregiver Support Line: VA's National Caregiver Support Line serves as a resource/referral center for caregivers, Veterans and others seeking caregiver information; provide referrals to local VA Medical Center Caregiver Support Coordinators and VA/community resources; and provide emotional support. The toll-free number is (855) 260-3274, Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.
VA offers a number of services that can provide you with the support that's right for you. Whether you and the Veteran you care for could use some help at home or you just need someone to listen, we're here to support you. Follow the link to learn more about the variety of services available to Family Caregivers.
If you are the Family Caregiver of a Veteran who was injured post-9/11, you may be eligible for additional services through VA, including a stipend, comprehensive training and medical coverage through VA if you are not already covered by a plan. Follow the link to learn more about the services and to see if you are currently eligible.
Have questions about VA Caregiver Support Services? Contact VA's Caregiver Support Line (1-855-260-3274) or your local Caregiver Support Coordinator for assistance.